GARRETT — City Planner Milton Otero told Garrett’s Board of Works that the city’s response to the 2020 Census is going strong, with a response nearly equal to the final 2010 response rate of 70.9%.
The national average is at 59.5%, with Indiana ranking 10th overall among states at 64.3%, he added. DeKalb County ranks 14th out of Indiana’s 92 counties, and the City of Garrett ranks 69th out of 566 Indiana cities and towns, Otero said.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, two bids were opened for this year’s 50/50 sidewalk replacement program, with quotes received from MF Projects LLC of Waterloo and Webb Concrete Construction of Auburn.
As the bids included multiple areas of concrete work, curbing, Americans with Disabilities Act corners and removal of current concrete, the quotes will be taken under advisement, with the city to award the contract at the June 2 meeting. Residents are encouraged to stop by City Hall to apply for the program, granted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Otero also reported 84 improvement location permits and two unsafe building code violations to date in 2020.
Police Chief Roland McPherson reported Narissa Roth will begin duties as office administrator. Police Officer Cyler Carroll has joined the department full time. Officer Logan Kelly is returning to the police academy for the next two weeks, and he will complete the final week of the course online. Academy classes had been sidelined due to COVID-19.
McPherson also reported the two new Ford Explorers will be 2021 models instead of 2020 due to a “good deal” from Bill Yoder Ford. The purchase was approved at a previous session.
Garrett officers responded to 145 calls between May 5-19, including three-property damage accidents and one personal-injury accident, according to McPherson. Officers made 12 arrests, including three each for battery and drugs and one miscellaneous, and one each for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, traffic and a warrant.
Streets and Parks Superintendent Eric Mossberger reported crews are mowing grass that is “growing like crazy” in full force as long as the weather allows. The street sweeper has been out, and summer help has begun with a primary focus on painting curbs and possible work in the parks.
A new hire will begin next week to fill a position of Jeff Knott, who moved to the water department. New LED lighting has been installed in the bathhouse at the pool and a new see-saw was added, another was painted, and the merry-go-round at Eastside Park has been sandblasted and repainted. New bearings will be added when the equipment is reinstalled as weather permits.
An order for a dump truck has been placed, with a projected delivery date in November, barring delays with supply vendors, he said.
A pre-bid meeting is scheduled this week for the next round of the Community Crossing matching grants, Mossberger added.
Work continues on storm sewers, according to Water Utility Superintendent Pat Kleeman. He reported receiving complaints from residents about water standing in their yards following recent heavy rains.
Wastewater Utility Superintendent Bruce Schlosser recorded 1.63 inches of rainfall Monday and another 0.9 inches as of Tuesday morning. He reported over 4 million gallons of flow on Tuesday, compared to a daily average of 800,000 gallons last year.
The city delivered 49,000 gallons of sludge to the Auburn Wastewater Plant last Friday, and is scheduled to take 28,000 gallons next Friday, he added.
Code Enforcement Officer Tara Smurr recorded 30 code violations from May 5-18. There were nine violations for rubbish, with the remainder a combination of rubbish, vehicles, high grass and weeks and/or harborage of vermin.
Smurr reported 28 certified letters had been sent, nine code violations complied, nine abate notices forwarded to City Hall for noncompliance and 28 certified letters sent.